The Tennessee Titans (13-3) hosted the Baltimore Ravens (11-5) at LP Field for the divisional playoff game. This is not the first time these two teams have battled in the second week of the playoffs. In the 2000 season the Ravens were a wild card and beat the number one ranked Titans and went on to win the Superbowl.
The game could go either way tonight as both teams are very similar in many ways. Both have a stellar defense and a strong running game. When the Titans played the Ravens earlier in the season, they won 13-10. The game could have gone either way depending on how certain plays unfolded. Tennessee is hoping history won’t repeat itself on this chilly Saturday night.
Tennessee started off the game showing that their defense was ready for the challenge as the Ravens went 3 and out. The Titans scored two drives later on an 8 yard TD from electrifying running back Chris Johnson. Baltimore came back on the next drive and responded with a touchdown of their own after ex-Titans Derrick Mason caught a long 48 yard pass from rookie QB Joe Flacco.
The next 12 drives of the game featured no scoring. What they did feature was a ton of penalties and big hits. The Titans had some large drives that seemed Touchdown destined, but were abruptly stopped after turnovers. On one drive Kerry Collins threw an interception after responding poorly to a Ravens blitz scheme. Another drive ended when LenDale White fumbled the ball. These turnovers proved costly to the Titans since both teams needed as many points as possible in such a low scoring game.
The Ravens scored a 21 yard field goal after working their way into good field position after a number of drives. The next Titans drive once again looked promising, but was immediately stopped when Alge Crumpler fumbled the ball on the Ravens 6 yard line. Despite this, the Titans managed to get a field goal on their next drive which tied the game at 10-10.
With 4:17 left in the game the Ravens began to march down the field and get closer to scoring. The entire stadium in Nashville was starting to see their Superbowl bound hopes come to and end. One huge mistake on this drive was made by the referees. Joe Flacco was a second over the allotted time for each play. The refs didn’t notice that the play clock was at 0 and Flacco connected on a long pass. Had the refs thrown the flag, it would have stopped the Ravens fast momentum and backed them up 5 yards.
The Ravens ended up kicking a 43 yard field goal which was good. The Titans had 58 seconds and 1 timeout, but it didn’t amount to anything. They went 3 and out and lost the game. This ends the Titans great season with a record of (13-4) and very disappointed fans. It seems the Titans are “one and done” in the playoffs once again. LenDale White, Kerry Collins, and Alge Crumpler all made big turnovers near the redzone which cost the team needed points. Another crucial error was the penalties. Tennessee was 12-89 with penalties.
Chris Johnson’s electric speed was missed in the second half as he sat the bench due to an ankle injury. All of these things plagued the Titans in their season ender. Congratulations to the Ravens on repeating history and beating the Titans. Congratulations to the Tennessee Titans for having a very good season despite what has happened in the playoffs. Here’s to hoping they make it farther in the 2009 season.